Each day, our bodies lose about two to three quarts of water. However, many people aren't getting the proper amount of water, and non-sugary drinks their bodies require, which can cause dehydration and several related health concerns. Older adults, particularly those with complex care needs managing multiple medications (e.g. diuretic) should stay mindful of drinking enough water each day. Adequate water intake allows the body to regulate temperature through sweating, maintain blood pressure and eliminate bodily waste. If severe enough, dehydration can lead to urinary tract infections, disorientation, imbalance and muscle weakness, chronic dry-mouth, pneumonia, bedsores and dry skin or even death.
Articles in Category: Dehydration
Older adults are more vulnerable to dehydration than younger people. Dehydration occurs when the body does not have enough water to keep up with the amount used in the body. Water helps carry nutrients to cells, eliminates bodily waste, regulates temperature through sweating, and lubricates and cushions joints. Dehydration can range from mild (e.g. constant thirst) to extreme (e.g. dry mouth, organ shut down, or fainting). Aging, in general, reduces the sense of thirst or natural thirst response, making it less likely to recognize the need to drink and hydrate. Incontinence, frequent urination and mobility concerns about using the restroom also can affect how older adults feel about drinking water of fears of drinking too much. Dehydration can also be caused by illnesses that induce vomiting or diarrhea, and medications such as diuretics which may cause frequent sweating, urination, and bodily water loss.